After David Hyde Pierce (Niles Crane on the sitcom Fraiser
) accidentally exposes himself during a live awards show, the FCC begins a campaign of toning down anything that could be considered too indecent for TV (such as censor-blocking
Christie's covered breasts jiggling in a bikini on Three's Company
, the Dick and Dyke in "The Dick van Dyke Show" being bleeped out, and Ralph Cramden's famous threat to punch Alice on The Honeymooners
redubbed with a shameless plug for buying American cars), and Peter fights back by creating his own TV show featuring the kind of raunchy content TV used to allow — which gets him in trouble with the FCC, who turn to censoring reality.
This episode contains examples of:
- Bowdlerization: On the TV version, the show that drives Lois to call the FCC is The Side Boob Hour (a collection of clips featuring the sides of actresses' breasts), which, considering the outrage over Janet Jackson's Wardrobe Malfunction and America's aversion to showing female breasts on TV, actually fits and makes for some good social commentary. However, the DVD version doesn't have The Side Boob Hour as the show that pushes Lois to call the FCC; it's a Jackass-style grossout prank show called Douchebags, where Peter plays the game "I Dare You to Crap Off Of That" and takes a dump on a bridge over a highway, which hits Lois's car and causes it to crash. The FOX censors told Seth MacFarlane that if he wanted the scene kept in, he'd have to edit it so that way Peter couldn't pull down his pants and the wet plop of the crap couldn't be heard (among other things). MacFarlane thought this was too much trouble, so he deleted the "Douchebags" sequence and redid it so that way Lois would freak out over The Side Boob Hour.
- The Parents Television Council: By this time, the conservative-leaning entertainment industry watchdog group and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane were locked in a heated war over the show's content and suitability for family viewing. The PTC had already slapped one of the series' episodes – "And the Wiener Is … " – with a "Worst Show of the Week" and filed a complaint with the FCC over its sex-laced content. This episode was a response to the PTC's ongoing complaints, with the initials "PTV" being a sarcastic satire of the PTC.
- The Simpsons: The opening segment sees Stewie run over Homer Simpson. Peter sees Homer lying on the garage floor, unconscious and likely dead, and asks, "Who the hell is that?" Originally, it was supposed to be Peter running to the door as Stewie drives in front of him, but the writers thought it would be funnier to have him run down Homer Simpson.
- Super Bowl XXVIII: The infamous "wardrobe malfunction" involving pop singers Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson inspired an in-episode incident where David Hyde Pierce's trousers accidentally broke during an Emmy Awards broadcast, resulting in a media frenzy. A direct parody of the incident, with Peter in Jackson's place, can be seen near the end of the FCC song.